Yoel Romero can do it all. Not only can he offend the LGBTQ community with an unfortunate choice of wording, but he can also unknowingly take tainted supplements and create inexplicable stains in the seat of his trunks mid-fight (Hey, the man said it was perspiration and, for the sake of his dignity, I choose to believe him).

God told Maria Magdelena, ‘you’re a prostitute, go and don’t sin anymore.’ And he told her with love. Who am I to judge anybody? – Yoel Romero trying to clarify his post fight statement

Even Michael Bisping is singing Romero’s praises and by “singing his praises” I mean bashing him at literally every opportunity. But despite Romero’s unique talent for garnering inadvertent and unsavory attention, it’s his intentional efforts inside the Octagon that’s caught everyone’s attention as of late.

Awkward Accidental Precision

Romero’s flying knee-to-head shot on Chris Weidman at UFC 205 may have looked awkward and accidental, but the precision and timing of that strike clamors intention (well, that and he also fed Clifford Starks a knee in his UFC debut.)

As a matter of fact, all of Romero’s UFC bouts have been impressive, save one: a split decision where he had to hold off a Ronaldo Souza who was hellbent on staging a comeback. Romero is something of an expert at comebacks, as well, staving off a flurry of blows in his tango with Tim Kennedy to revivify and score a knockout in the third round.

Yoel Romero, Soldier of God

All of this attention (good, bad, or ugly) has now manifested itself as a middleweight title shot against Robert Whittaker, the New Zealander toting a 19-4 MMA record. “The Reaper” knocked out Souza and Derek Brunson in his last two bouts, two of Romero’s more recent victims.

Whittaker has been chomping at the bit since April to get a title shot, but now he’ll have to go through the “Soldier of God” in order to walk away from UFC 213 a champion.

Romero has proven to be as explosive and dynamic inside the ring as he is controversial and irritating outside of it. His insistence to wear his beliefs on his sleeve and the missteps that have followed often overshadowed his utter dominance in battle.

Love him or hate him, one thing’s for certain. Ask any real student of the art of war and they’ll all tell you the same thing; zealots are some of the most formidable foes you’ll ever face. Especially Yoel Romero.